Featuring former Caligula’s Horse guitarist Zac Greensill, Opus of a Machine has returned from an extended hiatus with their second full-length release.
To say there aren’t echoes of C-Horse in the music of Opus would not be the truth as both bands work in a similar aesthetic, but where Caligula’s Horse often goes in a more complex metallic direction, Opus of a Machine stays closer to the ambient side of progressive rock. Their shifts are gradual and flowing in counterpoint to the sudden mood swings Caligula’s can unleash; the arrangements and vocal styles the sharpest points of difference.
With an emphasis on atmosphere, Stray Fire goes for the slow reveal, going with clean guitar lines and Mitchell Legg’s mellifluous voice instead of power and urgency in opener “Strength in Silence”. “Up. Out” increases the intensity level some with the ebb and flow of dark and light but it feels like the steady ambience of the other songs is holding Opus of a Machine back from true greatness. That is until the jazz-inflected instrumental “Rudi’s Song (Thirst for Life)” builds steadily toward the culminating “Beacon”, a sprawling epic where all the band’s colours are finally unfurled.
This is the track which fully highlights the talent inherent within Opus of a Machine and stamps them as future leading lights of the Australian prog movement. While Stray Fire takes a while to get there, the journey to excellence is worth the trip.
- Strength in Stone
- Up. Out
- Wild Unknown
- Stray Fire
- Rudi’s Song (Thirst for Life)